Estimating DraftKings Sportsbook’s College Football Power Ratings Based On Odds

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Written By Brett Gibbons | Last Updated
college football power ratings

Power ratings are one of the most powerful handicapping tools a sports bettor has in their belt. Estimating where a sportsbook stands on each team is a useful way to find edges. DraftKings Sportsbook has an array of college football odds up, giving us a chance to estimate where they stand with over 50 teams’ power ratings.

Keep in mind the odds change. Some of these numbers are bound to move between now and Week 1. These ratings are based on lines pulled on May 22. Any movement comes from bettors whose lines might differ. Scroll to the bottom of the article for the complete list of estimated power ratings.

College Football Power Ratings Vs. Power Rankings

Dozens of outlets use power rankings – including our own team here at TheLines – to determine which team would be favored on a neutral field. In the case of power rankings, it’s just an order.

Say Texas A&M sits four spots above LSU on a power rankings list. Is Texas A&M -4 vs. LSU a good line? Who’s to say.

Power ratings go a step further. Instead of just ordering Texas A&M over LSU, they assign numbers to each team to estimate by how much either one should be favored. Once you’ve built a set of power ratings, they can be used to estimate upcoming point spreads. From there, bettors can act faster and more confidently on opening lines.

Estimating DraftKings’ College Football Power Ratings

Having a good set of your own power ratings is a critical tool in handicapping games. But having a pulse on where the sportsbooks rate teams give bettors an additional leg up. In this instance, I took college football odds posted by DraftKings Sportsbook to estimate where they stand on each team.

At a glance, it’s easier to compare your own power ratings and determine which teams are over/undervalued.

The Starting Point

Creating power ratings starts with creating power rankings. A rough order of where teams stand assists with rating later in the process.

Since many of these lines were between the same set of teams, nailing down one number created a cascade of other numbers falling into place. I decided to start at the top. The Georgia Bulldogs undoubtedly stand atop the power rankings. Luckily, the top team didn’t take much guesswork.

Power ratings like SP+ and FPI feature teams with positive and negative numbers, often bottoming out around -25 and topping out around 30. Early-season spreads for “gimmie games” like Temple at Oklahoma generally feature spreads between 35 and 49 points with extreme spreads coming in at 56 points.

For the sake of easy interpretation, I assigned Georgia 100 power points as a “maximum” and went from there.

The Process

Once Georgia’s number fell into place, the rest of the estimation was a logic puzzle, much like a Sudoku. The Clemson Tigers opened as +13.5 underdogs to Georgia at a neutral site, meaning Georgia sits about 13.5 points higher than Clemson in DraftKings’ initial ratings. The Florida State Seminoles are -4 favorites at home against Clemson, so adjusting roughly 2.5 points for home-field advantage, it’s reasonable to assume FSU is rated 1.5 points higher than Clemson. To verify, I crosschecked teams that complete a cycle (example: Georgia vs. Clemson-Clemson vs. Florida State-Florida State vs. Florida-Florida vs. Georgia).

This season, DraftKings released dozens of lines throughout the season. With the Big Ten and SEC being such prominent players in the college football landscape this year, no outside lines were necessary to piece together over 50 teams’ estimated power ratings.

Only Army and Navy went without assigned ratings. Their rivalry game at the end of the season was a mutually exclusive line.


Sometimes, the math didn’t exactly line up. Odds for rivalry games, in particular, were difficult to pull. Texas A&M is favored by just 11.5 points over Arkansas, an old Southwest Conference rivalry. That inflated Arkansas’ rating a bit and caused some issues far down the line with mismatched numbers.

Since I don’t have DraftKings’ power ratings in my hand, it’s impossible to be 100% correct.

However, most of the math did check out. In short, this is a good starting point.

Applying Estimated Power Ratings

So, what’s the point of estimating power ratings? After all, if you use a book’s numbers, you’ll see every posted line as fair value. Instead, browse the numbers below. Compare them to your own numbers (or a trusted source’s). Does a certain team look “off” to you? Perhaps that’s a team you bet early on in the season before the sportsbook adjusts.

Or, maybe you adjust your own ratings.

This is also a decent starting point to make lines for games not yet posted. For example, we can reasonably estimate Texas -37.5 in Week 1 vs. Colorado State, given these current numbers. Should the Rams open -27.5, you might want to consider taking the Longhorns. Take the time to line every Week 1 and 2 game (or further, if you’re inclined) so you’re ready to compare openers and jump on them before the market hammers them into place.

Further, perhaps a team comes out of the gate worse than expected. Maybe they suffer a key injury. Should that team open with a line reflective of the old power rating (more common for Group of Five teams), bet the other way. Sportsbooks typically move ratings more conservatively in college football, opening the door for opportunity down the line.

Estimated DraftKings Sportsbook College Football Power Ratings

Numbers derived from college football odds pulled May 22. We pulled odds from DraftKings Sportsbook.

Ohio State98.5
Ole Miss92.0
Texas A&M89.0
Notre Dame88.5
Penn State88.5
Florida State87.5
Miami (FL)85.0
NC State81.5
Kansas State80.0
Virginia Tech79.0
Iowa State77.5
Oklahoma State76.0
West Virginia76.0
North Carolina75.5
Georgia Tech74.5
Oregon State71.5
Fresno State71.0
Washington State71.0
South Dakota St70.5
Michigan State68.5
Boston College67.0
Wake Forest66.5
North Dakota St66.5
Colorado State61.0

Photo by Associated Press